Revelation 2:15

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Revelation 2:15

In the previous verse, Jesus said, “I have a few things against you.” He then went on to speak of the doctrine of Balaam which included a couple of negative things. He now finishes the list with, “Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.” The words are emphatic. A literal translation would be, “So have also you…”

It is debated what the intent of the emphasis is. It may be saying, “Just as you have those who hold to the doctrine of Balaam, so you also have those who hold to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.” If this is the intent, then there is still another division which must be determined. Is the doctrine of Balaam the same type of doctrine as the Nicolaitans, or is it in a separate category? If it is the same, then what they taught is known. If it is different, then we can’t be sure what the Nicolaitans actually taught.

There are also two other options concerning the emphasis. It could be in relation to Israel. “Just as Israel was seduced by Balaam, so are you seduced by this Nicolaitan doctrine. This seems less likely because Jesus seems to be saying that they have those who hold to the doctrine of Balaam, and they also have those who hold to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.

The final option is that this is referring to the Ephesian church (verse 2:6). In this, the emphasis is on the fact that not only did they have one major doctrinal error (that of Balaam), but they also have a second one (that of the Nicolaitans). It is a doctrine said to be hated by the church in Ephesus, but this church of Pergamos has accepted it. This last option is not to be quickly discounted, because Jesus next repeats what He said to the Ephesian church, stating, “which thing I hate.”

With these final words, there is a slight variation in source texts. Instead of “which thing I hate,” some texts say, “in like manner.” With this change, the various options above take on a stronger or less likely case as to which is correct, and it is difficult to be dogmatic concerning the actual intent of this particular verse.

No matter which variation is correct, the Lord is displeased with the conduct of those who hold to these aberrant doctrines. It is a stern note of warning that they must turn away from the path they are on.

Life application: Whatever the actual doctrine of the Nicolaitans was, what appears certain is that it took a stand against holiness. In coming to Christ, and by no longer being under the law, people then assume that they are free to exercise whatever moral perversion makes them happy. But this is untrue. In Christ, believers are made holy in order to conduct their lives in holiness. This is why Paul, writing to saved believers at Galatia, says the following –

“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:16-21

The issue is not whether those who are saved will lose their salvation. Paul’s words indicate that those who are not saved, when presented with a false gospel, will never be saved. Christ died for sin. If people are told that their lives are not sinful, then they will never be cleansed of their sin.

Lord God, we have been separated from you because of sin. The good news of Jesus’ coming tells us that He dealt with our sin for us. Help us to be wise and call out to Him while we have the chance. And then after that, may You be pleased with how we conduct our lives, living in holiness and to Your glory alone. Amen.



4 thoughts on “Revelation 2:15

  • Wednesday, September 16th, 2020 at 8:11 am

    If one is truly saved then there is way they can not at some point start to live for Christ and start to shed those things that are displeasing to him. In some cases it’s like a bolt of lightning has hit them and their life style does a 180 from following the dark to following the light, that wasn’t me, wish it was but it wasn’t! I was with those that took the trial and error path, I kept tripping in the pot holes of sin but with every trip I kept asking myself what am I doing here? It doesn’t feel right anymore, I Need to start avoiding these pot holes and as I did the path became smoother and yes more enjoyable to follow! Do I still trip in pot holes heck ya and most likely will until we are home with the lord but I see the potholes for what they are and try to avoid them! At first it was hard but putting my trust in the lord to lead the way for me it has become a more enjoyable and fulfilling journey! The point is if your new to following Christ then give it time, don’t expect immediate change in your life, it will come as you grow in the word. The things (sins) you had a taste for will become tasteless to you Over time and not is a sad way but in a joyful way because your starting to live your life with Jesus in mind not ones own pleasures and lust.
    Hope I didn’t go to far off track here, my auto fingers kicked in and just kept typing.

    So I will leave it at that
    We are another day closer to home
    Grace, Mercy and peace on you and yours
    God Bless my friends we fly soon

  • Wednesday, September 16th, 2020 at 8:48 am

    thank you and always enjoy your prospective gordon love and prayers

  • Wednesday, September 16th, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Brothers and sisters at TSW, I haven’t been commenting lately, and I haven’t chatted much on Sunday live service, but my love for you all and for Pastor Charlie is not diminished. blessings to all

    • Thursday, September 17th, 2020 at 1:08 pm

      Understood John. Comment anytime, or stay in the background… you are well-loved either way!


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